China has drafted new rules required of its autonomous and networked vehicle builders.
Data security is front and centre in the rules, with manufacturers required to store data generated by cars – and describing their drivers – within China. Data is allowed to go offshore, but only after government scrutiny.
Manufacturers are also required to name a chief of network security, who gets the job of ensuring autonomous vehicles can't fall victim to cyber attacks. Made-in-China auto-autos are also required to be monitored to detect security issues.
Over-the-air upgrades are another requirement, with vehicle owners to be offered verbose information about the purpose of software updates, the time required to install them, and the status of upgrades.
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Behind the wheel, drivers must be informed about the vehicle's capabilities and the responsibilities that rest on their human shoulders. All autonomous vehicles will be required to detect when a driver's hands leave the wheel, and to detect when it's best to cede control to a human.
If an autonomous vehicle's guidance systems fail, it must be able to hand back control.
Interestingly, the regulations only encourage use of China's BeiDou satellite navigation system, leaving open the possibility of also tapping into signals from Galileo, GPS and even Russia's GLONASS.
Manufacturers are asked to scrutinise their own work rigorously, and to stop their efforts and conduct rectification works if they're not compliant.
News of the rules emerged on the same day that Chinese search giant Baidu announced robust Q2 results. Revenue reached $4.86 billion, with the company's cloud growing at 71 per cent year on year – rather faster than the 20 per cent companywide growth rate.
To justify that somewhat odd segue, know that Baidu also revealed that its own Apollo autonomous vehicles clocked up 7.5 million test miles – up 152 per cent year over year – and that the tech has received 278 autonomous driving permits around China.
Baidu also announced a deal with Chinese automaker and autonomous car leader Geely, which will use the company's cloud services for a private cloud solution and "other cloud applications, to enable Geely to leverage Baidu's AI to optimize its manufacturing capabilities and provide cloud services to its automotive suppliers and customers." ®